Karen McCullagh profile photo

Karen McCullagh

Lecturer in Law


She researches information rights and the laws on data protection and on freedom of information.



Karen McCullagh is a Lecturer in data protection law in the UEA Law School. She researches information rights and the laws on data protection and on freedom of information. She explores how companies gather (mostly through the internet and social media) and store data about an individual – and the legal basis for holding such data. She also examines how the state manages data on its citizens and how it handles freedom of information requests for transparency and accountability. Particular interests are: what happens to the data protection law in the UK (and especially in Northern Ireland) as a result of Brexit, the implications on data protection for new trade agreements (such as between the UK and the USA), and the delay in responding to freedom of information requests due to the Coronavirus lockdown and the associated need to prepare more resilient practices in times of such emergencies.

Karen originally trained and worked as a criminal lawyer in Northern Ireland. She is a member of the Executive Committee of BILETA (the British & Irish Law, Education & Technology Association). She is the IT editor for the European Journal of Current Legal Interests (EJoCLI) and a reviewer for a number of journals, including: Script-ed, the European Journal of Law & Technology (EJLT) and the International Review of Law Computers and Technology. She has co-hosted an international conference on GDPR and has acted as an expert witness to bodies such as the National Association of Data Protection Officers and the UK Anonymisation Network.

Areas of Expertise

Privacy LawData ProtectionData ManagementInformation RightsFreedom of Information Act


University of Manchester



University of Manchester

M.Sc., Social Research Methods & Statistics


Media Appearances

Forget the Port of Dover, think Port 80 if a no-deal Brexit happens



I then had a back and forth with Dr. Karen McCullagh, one of the leading academic experts in the field who has curated a selection of documents and reports on the topic. Dr. McCullagh is concerned about the UK's preparedness for a no-deal Brexit. She says [...]

view more

Spirit of the Diaspora shines on one of Boston's leading business lights



Leading legal lights will also attend the event including Dr Karen McCullagh, a law lecturer, and course director at the University of East Anglia and Colin Harvey, Professor of Human Rights Law at Queen’s University Belfast and a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

view more

Snooping could threaten post Brexit data law

The Law Society Gazette  


However, Dr Karen Mc Cullagh, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia’s school of law and a non-practising solicitor, said the paper overlooks measures in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 that have been found to be unlawful by the Court of Justice of the European Union. ’Failure to revise the act so that UK laws are compatible with EU laws could result in member states refusing to transfer personal data to the UK. Impeded data flows would cause harm to the UK’s economy,’ Mc Cullagh said.

view more

Brexit: UK seeks data transfer pact with EU

BBC News  


"It will help businesses who need to be able to plan their future - they need a sense of what the law will be," said Dr Karen Mc Cullagh, a legal expert at the University of East Anglia.

view more

powered byPowered By